An influential American Expressionist, Robert Motherwell was a printmaker and editor. He attended the California School of Fine Arts, received his BA in Philosophy from Stanford, and his Ph.D. from Harvard. Later, he studied at Columbia University. It was while at Stanford that Motherwell first encountered Modernism through his study of Symbolist literature. His fascination with the subject never left him. During a trip to Mexico, Motherwell decided to devote his life to painting. He especially felt called to assist American artists in finding autonomy and a creative process unique from Europe’s. His first action towards this goal was to arrange a show of like-minded American artists at the Guggenheim. Motherwell’s efforts helped lay the groundwork for the American Expressionist movement. Motherwell himself found his creative process from the Surrealist technique of automatic drawings–the process of expanding upon abstract doodling with the intent of tapping into the unconscious. This was the process utilized in Untitled, shown here. This piece was gifted by Gerald and Shelly Elliot.
-Susan Bonta, Class of 2018